Keeping Christmas

Have a merry and a happy Christmas, everybody.  May you. . .

  • Keep “Christ” in Christmas
  • Keep the “mass” in Christmas (by going to church)
  • Keep the “holy” in holidays
  • Keep St. Nicholas, who battled for the deity of Christ at the Council of Nicea, in Santa Claus.
  • Keep the gift of God in your Christmas gifts.

Thanks to all of you readers and commenters for your support of this blog over the past year.  May God, who was born as a baby and became one of us,  give you the joy of this season and bless you throughout the new year and always.

Why Christmas is on December 25

Touchstone has reposted its most popular article, the scholarly treatment by historian William J. Tighe from 2003 about why the birth of Jesus is celebrated on December 25.  And, as he definitively shows, it has nothing to do with any pagan festival. [Read more...]

The myth that Christ is a myth

The arguments are going around that Jesus Christ was little more than a mash-up of ancient mythical figures.  It is true that, as C. S. Lewis has said, that myths–such as those about death and resurrection–often do find their fulfillment in Christianity, in which, in Lewis’s words, “myth became fact.”

But that isn’t what these folks are arguing; rather, they show that they understand paganism no better than they understand Christianity.  Their assertions are just flat-out wrong when it comes to the most basic facts about the myths. [Read more...]

Mary, Did You Know?

As I’ve said before, the great challenge for an artist–whether an author, musician, painter, or whatever–in depicting Jesus Christ is how to portray Him as both God and Man.  In Christmas art, some work portrays Him in His humanness as a cute little baby.  Other work, such as the classic icons, show the Child as transcendent God.  Both are fine, conveying profound truths about who Christ is.  But the very best art about Christ somehow evokes BOTH His divinity and His humanity.

I have a candidate, a contemporary Christmas song, that pulls this off:  Mary, Did You Know? by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene.  Here are the lyrics.  After the jump, a video of my favorite performance of the song, the haunting version by Kathy Mattea. [Read more...]

Those who won’t give Christmas presents

Nearly one in four Americans (23%) will not exchange gifts for Christmas.  This includes  one out of five (20%) Christians.  The study does not say to what extent this rejection of the major way our culture celebrates the birth of Christ comes from principle, piety, impiety, Scroogism, poverty, age, or what.

Do any of you have the custom of not giving presents?  Please tell us about it. [Read more...]

Lessons And Carols

“Lessons and Carols” is a Christmas service consisting of nine Bible readings punctuated by the singing of Christmas carols.  It’s a simple service that goes back to 1918 featuring the choir of King’s College in Cambridge, which has been performing it every year except 1930 ever since.   BBC began broadcasting it in 1928, and listening to it on Christmas Eve has become a tradition for many citizens of Great Britain and its Commonwealth.   Churches often put it on.  So do Christian colleges.  But many families do it themselves for family devotions.  (For more background, go here and here.)

Cheryl Magness writes about it in the Federalist and says what it means to her and her family.  I’ll link to it after the jump and give her “Five Reasons” to attend a Lessons & Carols service.  She also says where you can listen to it live from King’s College on December 24 at 10:00 a.m., replayed at other times. [Read more...]


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